Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Amazon publishes Q4 results

Technology giant Amazon will today publish its fourth quarter results, with investors hoping to see improvement on 2019, when the company underperformed compared to rivals Facebook and Amazon.

Today’s results will provide particular insight on how the company’s e-commerce division performed over the Christmas period. Amazon is projecting revenue of up to $86.5bn for the quarter, which analysts expect it to achieve.

Investors will also be looking closely at Amazon Web Services, after the company unexpectedly lost a $10bn US Department of Defense contract to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, there will also be scrutiny around advertising, which is expected to be a growing driver of revenue, as well as the impact of one-day delivery costs on the company’s bottom line.

The results will be announced on an earnings call at 2:30pm PT, which will be available to stream via the company’s investor relations page.

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EU leaders ponder future on Brexit-eve retreat

Today will see the leaders of Europe’s three main institutions, the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament, attend a retreat themed around the topic “preparing for the future”.

It comes on “Brexit-eve”, the day before the UK departs the European Union, and the subject of the EU without the UK is likely to be a significant part of discussions.

The retreat, which will be held in Bazoches sur Guyonne, France, will be attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Parliament President David Sassoli.

Coronavirus restrictions come into effect in Hong Kong

Restrictions on travel between Hong Kong and mainland China will come into effect at midnight today in a bid to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus.

The restrictions will see high-speed trains and ferries suspended, while the number of flights out of the city will be reduced. There is no set date for the restrictions to be lifted.

The travel restrictions were announced by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday.

Confirmed infections have now climbed to almost 6,000, and 132 people in China have now died as a result of the disease.

Scientists are now scrambling to develop a greater understanding of the disease and its spread, with some suggesting that artificial intelligence could be used to identify new potential hotbeds for the virus.

Wednesday’s Highlights


US government reacts to Huawei decision, but will there be repercussions?

Labour-as-a-Service startup nets £1.5m investment, highlighting industry potential

Private sector key to fighting cybercrime, says Europol director